Call for Proposals: Encoding Cultures – joint MEC and TEI Conference 2023

We are pleased to announce a call for papers, posters, panels, and workshops for “Encoding Cultures,” a joint conference of the annual Music Encoding Conference and Text Encoding Initiative Members’ Meeting.

The conference will be held 5–8 September 2023 (Tue-Fri) at Paderborn University, Germany, with pre-conference workshops 4–5 September 2023 (Mon-Tue).

This event brings together, for the first time, the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) and Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) communities, both of which are involved in the digitization and encoding of cultural heritage artifacts. While musical and textual artifacts have fundamental differences, there are many overlapping approaches in regard to data modeling, encoding theory, and digital publication. MEI and TEI also share technical tools and services, as both XML vocabularies are formally expressed using TEI’s customization and documentation language.


The conference topic is Encoding Cultures, understood both as the encoding of multiple cultures and cultural outputs as well as the variety of encoding cultures that exist within and across our communities.

Encoding Cultures will be the 23rd annual meeting of the TEI community and the 11th annual Music Encoding Conference, a cross-disciplinary venue for the MEI community and all who are interested in the digital representation of music.

We invite contributions that engage with the complexities of encoding different cultures, such as music cultures and literary cultures, but also oral cultures, the cultures of underrepresented communities, and cultural practices beyond text and music, such as dance, performing arts, and film. We particularly encourage contributions that engage with multilingual and multicultural aspects of text and music encoding, such as multilingual metadata, support for non-Latin scripts and non-Western music notation, support for right-to-left languages, and interface internationalization. In the spirit of bringing together multiple communities, we invite reflections on commonalities, differences, and new approaches in the encoding of these different cultures.

At the same time, the conference theme invites reflections on different cultures of encoding. Encoding is a method for data modeling in the (Digital) Humanities that encompasses a variety of approaches. The TEI conceptual model is currently expressed in XML, and MEI has followed that lead. We invite the Text and Music Encoding communities to reflect on their practices by fostering constructive dialog and exploring similarities and differences within our communities and with other approaches to encoding and data modeling, such as graph data structures and linked data.


The conference welcomes contributions from all those who are developing or applying text or music encoding in their work and research.

We are also especially interested in receiving proposals from participants with a range of expertise and a variety of roles, including graduate and undergraduate students. We further invite proposals from participants who are newcomers to text and/or music encoding who may be first time attendees to the conference. Student travel bursaries may be available; more information will be provided as soon as possible.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

Topics also include the use or application of encoding in:

All submissions to the main conference program will undergo open peer review by multiple members of the program committee before acceptance. The proposals must be submitted in English as the conference will be held in English. Please note the deadlines for the submission process outlined under Important Dates below.

After the conference, the authors of accepted submissions will be invited to submit a full-length paper to a special issue of the peer-reviewed and open-access Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative, which will serve as curated proceedings for this year’s joint TEI-MEC conference. Papers submitted to the Journal will undergo a new round of peer review by either Program Committee members or the wider community before publication.

Submission Guidelines

Each submission should include a title, an abstract, up to five keywords, and a brief biography for each author. Each biography should be no more than 300 characters and should include current affiliation, research interests, and projects.

The proposals must be submitted in English. The following word counts apply to the text of the abstract, excluding titles, bibliography, keywords, and biographies.

Long Paper submissions are expected to present overviews or detail specific aspects of ongoing or completed projects, present detailed case-studies or elaborated perspectives on best practices in the field, or provide other reports on topics relevant to the conference (see Topics above). Speakers will be given 30 minutes each: 20 minutes for presentation, 10 minutes for discussion. Proposals should not exceed 500 words.

Short paper submissions are suitable for introducing tools, raising new ideas, and experimental topics. Speakers will be given 15 minutes each: 10 minutes for presentation, 5 minutes for discussion. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

Poster submissions are expected to report on early-stage work, introduce new work, projects, or software, or present experimental ideas for community feedback. A “poster slam” session will be dedicated to poster presentations of 1 minute each. Subsequently, poster presenters will have the chance to tell interested parties more about their project during the poster exhibition, where the audience can browse freely. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

Panels are suited to coordinated approaches or discussions relating to a single theme. Submissions should describe the topic and nature of the panel, along with the main theses and objectives of the proposed contributions. Panel sessions will be given 90 minutes, which can be used flexibly to include, for example, 3 individual papers followed by questions, or a roundtable discussion. Proposals should not exceed 800 words.

Half- or full-day pre-conference workshops. Proposals should include conveners, a description of the workshop’s objective and proposed duration, as well as its logistical and technical requirements. Proposals should not exceed 800 words and must include:

TEI Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and MEI Interest Groups (IGs)

TEI SIG and MEI IG coordinators interested in holding a meeting during the conference should contact the local hosts to book a room:

Important Dates

16 April 30 April: Upload of submissions (see Submission Guidelines) for review to ConfTool. Submissions must be in DOCX or ODT format.

9 June: Notification of acceptance and invitation to authors of accepted submissions. Registration opens.

1 August: Revisions to abstracts to be completed by this date.

1 August: Presenter registration deadline (papers, posters, workshops, panels). At least one author per accepted submission must register and confirm in-person or online participation.

1 August: (S)IG meeting room request deadline

4–8 September: Pre-conference workshops and conference.

1 December: Submission of full-length papers to a special issue of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative. These papers are welcome to incorporate modifications in response to feedback obtained during the conference. The special issue of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative will undergo additional peer-review and serve as curated, open-access proceedings for this year’s joint TEI-MEC conference.

Additional information

The conference will be held in person with the option of remote participation, with the exclusion of workshops, which will be held exclusively in person. Further details about remote participation will be provided on the conference website.

The TEI plans to hold its annual general meeting for its members as part of this joint conference. Likewise, the MEI plans to hold its annual community meeting as part of the conference.

Additional details regarding registration, accommodation, etc. will be announced on the conference website, on Twitter, and on Mastodon.

In case of questions, feel free to contact:

Program Committee

Local Organizers